Improve your Posture with Yoga
Yoga improves your posture by providing strength and alignment to your spine and the muscles around it. It also strengthens your abdominal muscles. Having a stronger core protects your back from strain and pain. Practicing yoga postures is very rewarding. The body carries its own weight instead of relying on other muscle groups to carry the load. This also improves your overall strength, flexibility and balance which can make you look more graceful, tall and lean.
Having great posture is important for improved movement ability, and makes your daily tasks easier with less chance of injury. With good posture the body can function at an optimum level. This means that the muscles and joints of the body are aligned correctly.
When theres no proper alignment of the spine, there is an imbalance. This affects the way the body moves and functions. Poor posture increases stress on joints, bones, ligaments and muscle tissues. In time, this can alter the way muscles operate, forcing other muscles,(neck, shoulders, back and legs) to work harder to compensate for the weaker ones. This can increase your risk of injury.
Practicing yoga on a daily basis has many benefits. It allows the body to stretch and release tension in the areas needed. Also, the different postures help strengthen and align the spine preventing the slouch back. Below are two poses that lengthen the back muscles giving your spine optimum health and posture.
This posture balances the entire body strictly on your buttocks. It resembles a boat, which also balances on water.
This pose strengthens, tones and improves blood flow to the lower abdominals, hip flexors, pelvic organs and spine. It improves posture by giving proper alignment and balance to the spine. It helps reduce fat build up in the waist, as it strengthens your core, and improves digestion. Practicing Boat Pose can help with kidney, prostate, intestine and thyroid problems.
Steps for Boat Pose
- From a seated position, extend arms parallel to the floor.
- Raise legs so that your body forms a V shape.
- Balance your weight on both buttocks evenly.
- Keep shoulders, neck and face relaxed.
- Extend your arms and legs in a diagonal stretch.
- Hold this pose for 3-8 breaths and focus on extending your spine and legs away from each other.
This is a great pose for your spine. Usually after sitting at a desk all day long, our backs are slouched. Camel Pose stretches your back as it opens up the chest. It increases the flexibility, mobility and elasticity of the spine.
Steps for Camel Pose
- Sit on your knees.
- Reach backwards, grab the left ankle with the left hand and right ankle with right hand.
- Inhale and lift the hips, arching the back and pushing the abdominals forward.
- Tilt your head back and open the chest.
- Hold this posture for 10-20 seconds.
- To come out, slowly place the hands on the lower back.
- Rest in Child's pose.
- Yoga for Back Strength Video
- Melanie shows you sequence of poses to help strengthen your back and relieve tension and back aches.
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